Sunday, August 26, 2012

Hurricane Preparedness

Ok, so this is what I heard from students as the week was wrapping up: "You know that hurricane that's kinda sorta heading our way? Yeah, that one. That means they'll have to cancel school right???" Yep. Typical high school students. Always looking for an excuse not to do work. Well, so far it doesn't look like they'll get their wish. We just got a phone call from the school district stating that schools would remain open tomorrow. However, they did say they could change their mind, and we'd know by 11pm tonight.

Why am I telling you about my students' desire to have a hurricane day? Well, because it got me thinking about whether or not we were prepared at home for said hurricane. Even though it won't be a direct hit, we more than likely will still have major rain and winds. Sure, we have candles and lighters. But shouldn't we have more than just that? What else do we need to have in case we lose power?

Just as these thoughts were crossing my mind on Wednesday, I got a text from Dan...
Dan: Do we need to do anything at home to stock up for the storm? Maybe bottled water?

Me: Definitely need bottle or jugs of water for the house. Need to look at food again & figure out where our candles/lighters are & have them ready. Check on cat food too.

Dan: Ok, can we do that tonight?
(Sorry, I don't have one of those fancy iPhones that can just snap a picture of my text conversations. And if an android does the same thing, I haven't figured out how to do it yet.)

So, as you can tell, my mind was already moving a mile a minute trying to figure out what we need to stock up on. When I got home, I pulled out our "hurricane kit" from our guest bathroom closet and set it out on the coffee table to inventory it. Of course, Periwinkle thought it was her new sleeping spot...

We used a medium sized tupperware (which ironically came housing tupperware) to keep everything in. I think we started putting this thing together in early June? This is what we had in it so far:

  • Small propane camping stove (the kind where the burner screws directly onto the propane tank)
  • 1 1/2 propane tanks (just don't tell our apartment complex though, cause technically we're not suppose to have them)
  • 12-pack box of ramen noodles
  • 3 cans of chili
  • 1 bag of yellow rice
  • 1 lighter
  • 4 cans of wet cat food

Some things that we consider part of our "kit," but have a home outside of it:
  • 2 pet carriers (in bathroom closet next to emergency kit)
  • tupperware of dry cat food (in pantry)
  • extra cans of wet cat food (in pantry)
  • leash/harnesses for pets (hanging next to front door)
  • weather radio (on kitchen counter)
  • box of candles & matches (office/guest bedroom beneath printer)
  • flashlights (various places around the house)
  • batteries (junk drawer in kitchen)

So, as you can see, although we had made a decent start, there was no way we could survive on those things if we happened to lose power for a week. We were missing things some pretty essential things.
We started brainstorming the things we might need to have on stock if we lost power for 7 days and we couldn't, for whatever reason, get out of our apartment complex. I also referenced a couple of emergency kit suggestion lists (like this one and this one) to see what else we might want/need to add to our kits.
Now, I should stop and mention that if a huge storm was heading our way, we'd probably head into Orlando and stay with our parents. Why? Well, we live in a second story apartment, and sometimes its more important to be on the first floor. Not to mention, Orlando is a little more inland than where we currently live. So, we didn't go really crazy with this emergency kit. I figured if it was going to be really bad, between our kit & whatever our parents had on hand, we'd be fine.
After brainstorming and writing everything down on our list, we first shopped around our apartment to see what we already had on hand. Then we headed out to Walmart to pick up what supplies we were still missing. We also made sure not to buy a lot of food that would need refrigeration this week in case of a power outage. Push come to shove, we could always make a second trip to the grocery store later this week. Now our kit includes (on top of everything listed above):
  • Fire-proof & water-proof safe (for important documents, wedding photo cd, etc.)
  • Bottled water
  • Breakfast food (poptarts & cereal)
  • Granola bars
  • Ice pack (given to us when we donated blood)
  • Sun screen
  • Travel size shampoo, conditioner, lotion, mouthwash, toothpaste (from hotel visits)
  • Contact solution & case
  • 2 gallons of water (if needed, we can fill our bathtub(s) for more water)
  • Pack of water bottles


I also taped a small list to the top of our container of things that can't be stored, but would need to be grabbed before we left if we ever needed to evacuate, or head to Orlando. That list includes:
  • sneakers
  • medication
  • toothbrush
  • hairbrush
  • clothes
  • batteries/flashlights
  • blankets
  • cell phone chargers

Once we had everything packed into our tupperware container, we put it back into our guest bathroom closet. You'll notice that our blankets look like a hot mess that we also keep extra blankets, our toolbox, and kitty litter in that closet. We're also considering storing our new safe in there as well to keep everything in one place. But we're still not 100% sure that's where we want to keep it. The 2 gallons of water got tucked underneath the last shelf.

So, that's our little hurricane kit. Our fingers are crossed that we won't have to use it much this year. But it's nice to know that in case something did happen (**knock on wood**) we feel like we're prepared.
Do you have a hurricane/emergency kit at home? Any suggestions to add to what we've already got listed? Are you in Isaac's path? I for one will be happy when this storm is over so the news will have something else to talk about. Hope you guys are having a good weekend!


  1. eek that's quite scary! We don't have anything like that but I struggle to think of what might cause us to need to stay in the flat for a week. Closest we came was when we had really heavy snow a few years ago and the supermarkets weren't getting restocked. Cos we are in the city though we could still get out and about. People in the countryside were snowed in though.

    Hope the hurricane misses you. It sounds scary!!


    1. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to be "snowed in." But we don't really get snow in Florida. Flurries occasionally. And luckily, the brunt of the hurricane has missed us. We're getting some rain bands & wind. But other than that, it seems like a typical afternoon thunderstorm (only all through the night and into the morning). And so far we haven't lost power! :)

  2. Oh gracious, that's stressful. Your blanket scratch out comment cracked me up, btw. I'm horribly unprepared for any emergency... In the 90s Hurricane Hugo actually came way far inland in SC. Some were without power for over a week. For us in the rural areas, that means no well water. So I should be prepared... Maybe I'll work on that next weekend. You have inspired me. :)

    Ya'll stay safe although I think you've dodged this bullet? :)

    1. Back in '04 we were hit by back-to-back hurricanes (Charlie, Floyd, Ivan, & Jeanne). We lost power for 3 days with Charlie. Then, about a week after that, we lost power for 7 days with Floyd. My parents couldn't stand the humidity anymore & we got a hotel room after Floyd. :) And it does look like we've dodged the bullet. Had rain throughout the night and into this morning, but we managed to keep power & I haven't noticed many down limbs. Definitely breathing a sigh of relief & saying prayers for those still in the storms' path.



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